Tele­com ma­jors get 5G fre­quen­cies

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By OUYANG SHIJIA and MA SI CHINA DAILY Con­tact the writ­ers at ouyang­shi­[email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

The gov­ern­ment has al­lo­cated spe­cific low and medium-fre­quency bands to the na­tion’s ma­jor three tele­com car­ri­ers, China Mo­bile, China Uni­com and China Tele­com, as a key step to quicken the roll­out of fifth-gen­er­a­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion net­works, and to fur­ther test on new dig­i­tal ap­pli­ca­tions.

“Spec­i­fy­ing the des­ig­nated fre­quency bands for 5G tests will mo­ti­vate op­er­a­tors to chan­nel their re­sources into those bands, ac­cel­er­at­ing the con­struc­tion of 5G net­works,” said Xiang Li­gang, CEO of tele­com in­dus­try web­site cc­time.com.

Ac­cord­ing to the an­nounce­ment made by the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy on Thurs­day, China Mo­bile will ob­tain bands in the range 2,515 to 2,675 mega­hertz and 4,800 to 4,900 MHz. China Tele­com and China Uni­com will use the bands in the range of 3,400 to 3,500 MHz and 3,500 to 3,600 MHz, re­spec­tively.

The new move brings about a rel­a­tively bal­anced as­sign­ment of fre­quency bands re­sources, in­dus­try ex­perts said.

“We ex­pect China Mo­bile will use the 2,600 MHz fre­quency band for its ini­tial 5G net­work con­struc­tion,” Wu Chaoze, chief tele­com an­a­lyst at CSC Fi­nan­cial Co Ltd, said in a re­port posted on the com­pany’s of­fi­cial WeChat ac­count.

“De­spite lack­ing a ma­ture value chain, that lower-fre­quency band will cover a larger area and of­fer con­tin­u­ous net­work cov­er­age.”

Xiang agreed, adding the 3,400 to 3,600 MHz band will make the other two op­er­a­tors bet­ter aligned with global 5G re­quire­ments.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the high-fre­quency band is set to be dis­trib­uted to car­ri­ers grad­u­ally in the fu­ture.

“The low-fre­quency band of­fers long ra­dio prop­a­ga­tion and cov­ers a larger area. The high-fre­quency band pro­vides higher band­width and higher data rates. When put to­gether, both low-fre­quency bands and high-fre­quency bands will meet the dif­fer­ent re­quire­ments for 5G use,” Xiang added.

The move is part of China’s wider push to ac­cel­er­ate the com­mer­cial­iza­tion of 5G, aim­ing to be a key player in the global race to ap­ply the next-gen­er­a­tion tech­nolo­gies.

At least 10 times faster than 4G, the tech­nol­ogy is ex­pected to rev­o­lu­tion­ize the tech world in the near fu­ture.

In the com­ing 5G era, higher re­li­a­bil­ity and lower la­tency can be real­ized, mak­ing the in­ter­net of things more ef­fec­tive. It will take on tasks that are im­pos­si­ble in the 4G era, such as over­see­ing self-driv­ing cars.

Yang Hua, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion De­vel­op­ment In­dus­try Al­liance, said tele­com equip­ments that use dif­fer­ent fre­quen­cies also dif­fer greatly in sig­nal and in­for­ma­tion chan­nels. Ev­ery time a tele­com fre­quency is changed, it will take eight to 10 months to re­de­velop prod­ucts.

“Clar­i­fy­ing the dif­fer­ent fre­quency bands for the big three tele­com car­ri­ers will en­able tele­com op­er­a­tors and equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers to de­ter­mine prod­uct de­vel­op­ment goals and greatly ac­cel­er­ate the process of prod­uct de­vel­op­ment in all as­pects of the value chain. This is of great sig­nif­i­cance to the in­dus­try,” Yang said.

The ma­jor op­er­a­tors have al­ready started de­vel­op­ing their 5G sys­tems. China Mo­bile plans to un­veil 5G smart­phones in the first half of 2019, ahead of launch­ing 5G pre­com­mer­cial tri­als in 2019 and the net­work’s full com­mer­cial­iza­tion in 2020.

JIN RONG / FOR

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